The TransformEd Board of Directors supports the work of the organization and provides mission-based leadership and strategic governance to ensure that the organization achieves its mission in a prudent, sustainable, and ethical way.
Shannah L. Varón (Chair)
Shannah Varón is the Executive Director of Boston Collegiate Charter School, a 5th-12th grade college preparatory public school in Dorchester with the mission of preparing each student for college. For the last two years, BCCS has been ranked in the top ten of all high schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts according to US News and World Report. Shannah chairs the Boston Charter Alliance and co-chairs the Boston Compact, organizations which are dedicated to leading the charter sector and district-charter collaboration for improved academic outcomes in all Boston schools.
Prior to joining BCCS in 2011, Shannah was a principal with the Parthenon Group where she focused on the firm’s Education Center for Excellence. Shannah was a 2001 Rio Grande Valley Corps Member, teaching bilingual special education. Shannah holds a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Nathaniel C. Donoghue
Nathaniel C. Donoghue is an Associate at Rich May, PC, a Boston-based law firm that provides an array of legal services to clients throughout the United States and abroad. Mr. Donoghue began working with Transforming Education, Inc. in October of 2015, assisting the organization in its transition into an independent nonprofit. In addition to providing legal advice to Transforming Education, Inc., Mr. Donoghue was elected to the Board in 2016.
Mr. Donoghue earned his J.D. from Boston College Law School after receiving his A.B. from Harvard University. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Donoghue worked as an Associate Analyst at Abt Associates Inc. in the field of education and nutrition research.
Barry Dym founded and directed several nonprofits, including the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership (now the Institute for Nonprofit Practice) and the Family Institute of Cambridge.
Now retired, for almost 30 years he was a psychotherapist; for 40 years he was an organization development consultant and executive coach. He is the author four books, including Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations and was the founder of the journal, Family Systems Medicine. He is currently pouring his energies into his blog: Ruminations and Provocations: www.barrydym.wordpress.com.
Joe McCannon is co-founder and CEO of the Billions Institute. He was previously an Obama Administration appointee, serving as Senior Advisor at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Before that, he was Vice President and faculty on large-scale improvement at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), leading the organization’s major domestic initiative to improve patient safety, the 100,000 Lives Campaign, and starting its work in Africa.
Joe has supported large-scale transformation in several nations, including Canada, Denmark, England, Japan and South Africa, and consulted on the topic for a number of organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization. He has also served on committees of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the National Academies. He is a graduate of Harvard University and was a Reuters Fellow at Stanford University.
Dr. Irvin Scott joined the faculty of Harvard Graduate School of Education during the summer of 2016. At Harvard, Irvin’s concentration is Educational Leadership. Before coming to Harvard, Irvin served for five years as the Deputy Director for K–12 Education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led the investment of $300 million in initiatives focused on transforming how teachers are recruited, developed, and rewarded. At the Foundation, Scott also led a team to initiate the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers experience, which has become a teacher-driven movement and can be found in a majority of states across the country.
Prior to his Foundation work, Dr. Scott spent over 20 years working in the “trenches” as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and chief academic officer. Right before going to the Foundation, Scott was the Chief Academic Officer for Boston Public Schools, where he was responsible for the academic programming of the school systems, as well as overseeing all regional superintendents and schools in the district. Scott previously served as high school academic superintendent for the district and co-chaired Harvard University’s Urban School Leaders’ Summer Institute. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree from Millersville University; a master’s degree in education from Temple University; and a master’s and doctoral degree from Harvard University.
Andy Sokatch joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a Senior Program Officer in 2016. Prior to joining the foundation, he served as the founding Director of Research and Evaluation at The New Teacher Project (TNTP), overseeing all research activities and contributing the methodological approach and data analysis to TNTP’s early policy papers, including Missed Opportunities and Unintended Consequences. He went on to serve as the Vice President for Research at Teach For America. Most recently, Sokatch served as the founding Director of Research at Character Lab. Andy began his career as a classroom teacher in New York City, and has taught at the elementary, middle, college, and graduate school levels.
He holds a BA in English Literature from Carleton College, an MA in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a PhD in Social Policy and Children’s Welfare from Brandeis University. He lives in Newton, MA with his wife Rachal and their two children.
Ila Deshmukh Towery
As a Senior Consultant with Education First Consulting, a national mission-driven strategy and policy consulting firm, Ila Deshmukh Towery works closely with funders, nonprofits, districts and states to improve college and career readiness and support teacher and leader preparation, growth and effectiveness. Her past and current clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Raikes Foundation, Syracuse City School District and U.S. Department of Education.
Ila previously served as TNTP’s Director of External Evaluation where she launched and/or completed six studies in partnership with leading researchers and some of the nation’s largest school districts. Ila was a key contributor to TNTP’s $20M+ i3 grant and served as Project Director. Ila also taught mathematics and was research director at the Boston Plan for Excellence. Ila holds a BA in Political Science & Education from Swarthmore College and a PhD in Child Development from Tufts University.
Sara Bartolino Krachman (Ex Officio)
Sara Bartolino Krachman serves as the Co-Founder & Executive Director of Transforming Education (TransformEd), where she is responsible for setting the organization’s strategy, building internal capacity, fundraising, and building new partnerships. Prior to founding TransformEd, Sara was a Senior Associate within The Parthenon Group’s Education Practice, where she worked with leading national foundations, large urban school districts, and state departments of education on strategic planning and implementation of systems change efforts. Before joining Parthenon, Sara served as Vice President of Operations for INeedAPencil, a provider of free online SAT preparation to low-income students. Sara earned her A.B. in Government from Harvard University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 2015, she was named a Finalist for the Young Professional Excellence Award, which honors an emerging nonprofit professional who has made a significant contribution to their organization through their effectiveness, dedication, perseverance, innovative thinking, and interpersonal skills.